Malaysia govt mulls fixed levy for foreigners

Malaysia govt mulls fixed levy for foreigners

MALAYSIA - The government is in the midst of studying a fixed levy for foreign workers to curb the change of their working sectors once they reach Malaysia, Deputy Home Minister Datuk Dr Wan Junaidi Tuanku Jaafar said yesterday.

"The migration to other sectors happens because of the lower levy for agriculture at RM410 (S$161), compared with RM1,250 for manufacturing and RM1,850 for services."

Employers would bring in workers under the agriculture sector and later, move them to another sector, said Wan Junaidi.

"The Home Ministry, Human Resources Ministry and other agencies are in the process of planning a single levy rate that is hoped will reduce the migration of foreign workers between sectors," he said in response to Datuk Ikmal Hisham Abdul Aziz (BN-Tanah Merah).

Ikmal had asked about the Immigration Department's procedures on employing foreign workers, especially foreign workers from source countries.

Wan Junaidi said, to date, 744 foreign workers had been detained for abusing the temporary working visit pass and the enforcement agencies were working to curb such abuse.

The ministry conducted frequent raids on areas inhabited by foreigners.

"There are only five sectors that are allowed to employ unskilled workers -- manufacturing, construction, services, agriculture and trade -- with the age range of between 21 and 45."

Wan Junaidi said employers who wished to hire foreign workers had to fill up several documents -- the Job Clearing System form from the Manpower Department, licence from the International Trade and Industry Ministry, local enforcement licence, agriculture reports, land grants and contracts.

"Employers may also walk in with the complete documentation and approval may be obtained on the same day upon which levy payment can be made immediately."

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